Japan eyes Zambia’s energy sector

JAPAN is interested in investing in the Zambian energy sector to stabilize power supply which  has directly affected Japanese economic activities in Zambia, says visiting Japanese parliamentary foreign affairs  vice minister Hitoshi Kikawada.

Mr Kikawada, speaking at a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday, said that he had already met President Edgar Lungu, Energy Minister Dora Siliya, and Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba to discuss  Zambian economic developments.

He told journalists that Japan would provide both technical and consultancy assistance to Zambia to help stabilize the current power deficit.

He said it was important that the power deficit was stabilised as it affected the entire Zambian economy and impacted directly on the Japanese firms and companies working in Zambia.

“It is important that the power supply is stabilized because it directly affects Japanese companies and the entire economy in Zambia. We will continue to encourage Japanese companies to invest in Zambia,” he said.

Mr Kikawada said more Japanese investors would come to Zambia when the Zambian economy stabilized, which he said had the potential to do better.

He said his visit to Zambia was aimed at exchanging ideas and views with regard to the Zambian economy.

“Once the environment improves, more Japanese business firms will promote their businesses in Zambia,” he said.

Mr Kikawada also said Japanese assistance would also support value chains in Zambia.

He said he had met with Agriculture Minister Given Lubinda to discuss Zambia’s diversification programme from mono economy of depending on maize to importing rice from China.

He also discussed with Mr Lubinda how Zambia could export its products to the international market.

“Our assistance is not just about giving, our emphasis is that Japanese help should focus on ensuring that people of Zambia are able to stand on their own and support themselves,” he said.